John McLaughlin speaks as part of the “KCCI Weather Kid” feature at the Iowa State Fair in 2015. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

McLaughlin to lead ‘Severe Storm Saturday’

COON RAPIDS — Nationally recognized Doppler radar expert and Glidden-Ralston Schools alum John McLaughlin will be joined by WeatherNation TV’s storm chaser and multimedia journalist Ben McMillan to present “Severe Storm Saturday” at New Way Ford in Coon Rapids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

McLaughlin spent 31 years with KCCI-TV in Des Moines forecasting Iowa’s rapidly changing weather and overseeing the development and installation of three Doppler radar systems at KCCI.

At New Way Ford, he will present a seminar on “Understanding Your Radar App.”  He will walk attendees through the basics of Doppler radar as well as understanding the limitations of viewing data on applications such as Radar Scope, Pykl 3, and others available for Apple and Android phones.

He’ll also answer audience questions on staying safe during the Iowa severe weather season.

McMillan is a Pella native and chased the historic EF-5 tornado in Parkersburg and later the 2014 twin Pilger, Neb., tornadoes.

He is a founding member of the Iowa Storm Chasing Network with more than 100,000 followers on Facebook and was the primary storm chaser for KCCI-TV in Des Moines. McMillan currently works for Weather Nation TV based in Centennial, Colo., and resides in Phoenix serving the fire/EMS system.

McMillan and his Ford Explorer chase vehicle were featured in a Ford Motor Co. advertisement.

He will discuss the benefits and hazards of storm chasing and talk about being involved in a national storm research project called Twistex.

Also scheduled to appear is storm chaser Nathan Moore with Moore and his Ford Explorer are based in Kearney, Neb., and broadcast severe storms live to thousands of online viewers.

New Way Ford will be giving away 150 customized rain gauges and encourages social media followers to post their weather updates to the New Way Ford Facebook page.

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